O-Zone: On and on

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Jerry from St. Augustine, FL

Zone, four wins in 2020 should have us drafting in the Top Five. The other teams national pundits anticipate drafting ahead of the Jags have recently used early first-round selections on their quarterback of the future. I would think two first-round picks – our fourth or fifth overall plus the Los Angeles Rams' first-round selection, which will probably be somewhere around thirteen – our second-round pick, along with our fourth- and fifth- round picks, should get us from the fourth or fifth spot to the first overall pick … wouldn't it? Hoping quarterback Gardner Minshew II proves he is the man and we can use those picks to build around him, but I would disagree with you that we won't have the ammunition to responsibly go up to one if we need to in what will be such a unique scouting and draft grading environment.

I understand your point, and you're right that the Jaguars would have a lot of ammunition in your scenario. But remember: You can't force a team to trade no matter how much you offer. If the team selecting No. 1 overall covets this "special player" – i.e., Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence – then there may not be anything that you can offer to entice them to trade. If he's good enough for the Jaguars to theoretically tank for him, then he's presumably good enough for a team with a young quarterback to change direction and select him. After all … if Lawrence is that good, why would another team not want him?

Cary from Montreal, Quebec

Hey O, what's the difference between waiving a player or releasing that player? Like in the case of quarterback Mike Glennon, he was released, while most others were waived.

Players with fewer than four years "pension credit" are waived. Players with more than that are released. If a player is waived, he is subject to the waiver-claims process under which other teams can claim the player's rights. A released player becomes a free agent and can sign with any team.

Darren from Fort Worth, TX

You seem to be ambiguously implying that the Jaguars are a better team without Ronnie Harrison...

I don't know that they will be better without any particular player, but I don't believe the Jaguars will be worse without former safety Ronnie Harrison or running back Leonard Fournette.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

I have a hard time hearing General Manager Dave Caldwell say that they can't afford another rebuilding year. What do they truly expect from a team that has 16 rookies making the team? My ceiling is eight wins, and that's if Minshew is the guy. If he's relatively average, this team is going to struggle a LOT. Especially in the secondary. If Caldwell really believes that it's not a "re" something, I'm confused. This team is as young as the NFL produces in 2020 and we have an army of picks. Help me understand why he can't say it's a rebuild. Khan has given him extra time, in my opinion.

Caldwell can't say it's a rebuild because in his eyes – and those of Head Coach Doug Marrone and Jaguars Owner Shad Khan – it's not a rebuild. The offseason objective was to get the salary cap in order moving forward AND get the team in position to win now. All involved have been consistent saying that. Anything else is the opinions/interpretations of observers.

Sean from USA

How has tight end Tyler Eifert looked in practice? Looking forward to seeing him on the field helping to open up the passing game.

He has looked very good.

Adam from St. Jones, FL

To no one's surprise, the O-Zone tells everyone the trades change nothing in the landscape of the season. Although you're probably right, three-to-five-win team either way, it doesn't instill confidence from the outside looking in. They haven't re-signed a first-round draft pick in a decade. No matter how you spin that, it's awful and the people responsible aren't being held accountable. Why should we believe anything you or the team says or does? It seems like a very, very, very long season.

Oh, no, no, no, Alan. You're as wrong as wrong can be. The Jaguars re-signed former quarterback and 2014 No. 1 overall selection Blake Bortles. /ducks

Rob from St. Augustine, FL

With the first game a week away, when can we expect the official depth chart to be posted? I like to overanalyze it as much as your all-important power rankings.

I expect the depth chart to be posted early next week.

John from Jacksonville

Say what you want about the recent exodus of players, but one thing is Marrone never throws his players under the bus. I commend them for cleaning out the bad apples in the locker room. They may have lost some talent, but this is a team game and I believe these moves will help the Jaguars and they will have a good year.

You'll never hear Marrone talk down a player, either when that player is on the team or after a player has left the team. Marrone approaches this with the mindset of a former NFL player. The coaches he had didn't talk players down. He won't, either. What's to gain from it?

Stormy from Wyoming

How many weeks into the season until we bench quarterback Gardner Minshew II for "struggles," and fully commit to tanking? My faith in management has finally hit zero.

I expect the Jaguars to commit to Minshew this season and to remain committed unless he shows beyond a sliver of a doubt that he can't be a franchise quarterback. They won't tank. Players and coaches don't do that. It behooves them not a whit.

Brian from Gainesville, FL

Big O, I am with you that the team is not tanking (or at least the players and some of the coaching staff are not participating in a tank). However, given that this team is clearly in rebuild mode, what do they do if Minshew isn't the man? As you've repeatedly pointed out, this team likely won't lose enough games to have a Top 3 pick and they don't have the capital to trade up. So that would mean Minshew isn't the guy AND the team won't be able to choose a Trevor Lawrence/Justin Fields. Will they remain in the wilderness in hopes of eventually getting one of the sixth-rounders to stick? Try and fail with rookie quarterback Jake Luton? Spend huge money on a free-agent flyer like Foles again? What does this team do to ensure the young, talented core isn't squandered away?

First step: re-sign wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. Second step: re-sign defensive end Josh Allen and right tackle Jawaan Taylor the year after that. I don't know what number to assign the quarterback step, but you keep trying until you find one. If I knew the certain way to do it, I would be running an NFL team and not answering questions from adoring fans.

Eddie from Deland, FL

Jags fan since the beginning. For what it's worth, I am excited about a fresh start. I think they will be more competitive than many think, and are establishing a good base for the future. What are your thoughts on Devine Ozigbo? He looked good in the 2020 finale against the Colts and seems to be having a good camp. Where do you see him fitting in?

I think Ozigbo will be a part of the running-back rotation. The Jaguars think he has a chance to be productive. I think he has a chance to earn his way into a lot of carries. We'll see how it plays out.

Arnie from Spain via Fernandina

Is it possible that ridding the locker room of former cornerback Jalen Ramsey, defensive end Yannick Nagokue, Fournette was appropriate because more than anything they were a negative drain on the team of which made them expendable "especially considering their cap harm?" Is it possible that on top of that, the coaching staff – which doesn't know twice as much as us but knows more like 10 times as much as us even informed fans – made a good call here? Or is this some big conspiracy?

Anything is possible.

Bill from Bald

It seems rookie quarterback Jake Luton's only negative was poor decision-making. Otherwise he has size, arm strength and a nine-to-one touchdown-to-interception ratio. Does the team think he is getting better in going through progressions, reading defenses, etc? Is it possible we drafted a Ben Roethlisberger in the sixth round?

I'm not going to compare Luton to a Hall-of-Fame quarterback. The Jaguars like Luton. He has real potential and NFL traits. He has gone through progressions well and has looked the part on training camp. How much the team believes in him or his progress won't change or matter significantly until he gets some in-game reps. That could be a long while – perhaps the 2021 preseason.

Art from Drexel Hill, PA

It never ends, does it?

Why should it?

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